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The Neonai

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Album Review

Lake of Tears' fifth album, The Neonai, is also set to be their last, with singer/guitarist Daniel Brennare announcing that he will be moving in a different direction, possibly with a new project also named Neonai. And what a pity too, since many would argue that the band was still in its prime. Considering this is the end of the line makes Lake of Tears' trajectory all the more interesting to look back on — especially since their drastic evolution from depressive doom metal to spacy, post-Pink Floyd goth rock took place without compromising the quality of their music, something other respectable bands like Paradise Lost and Tiamat have failed miserably at. Brought home by the album's fantastical, psychedelic artwork (a bright, colorful, mirror-opposite of the dark collages often used by Cathedral), the truth is that there's little left in Lake of Tears' sound that even resembles heavy metal. Sure, the guitars are usually heavy in tone, but were it not for the group's general propensity for complex, often minor-chord-based songwriting, cuts like "The Shadowshires" and "Solitude" could very well pass for straight-up rock & roll. Even further away from metal, the quasi-ballad "Leave a Room" and the dreamy "Sorcerers" (containing flute-like synthesizers and rampant psychedelics) take full advantage of guest vocalist Jennie Tebler, while the pop-tastic "Nathalie and the Fireflies" is reminiscent of Jellyfish. The driving "Can Die No More" (perhaps the album's most "metallic" track) strikes an effortless balance between heavy rock and pulsing techno effects, but even here, Brennare never sets himself to screaming, nor barely raises his tone above a melodic croon. In short, whatever the future may hold for Brennare, The Neonai provides a fitting swan song for this truly talented band.


Formed: May, 1992 in Boras, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lake of Tears first came together in 1992 when Daniel Brennare, Jonas Eriksson, and Michael Larsson left the death metal band they were playing in and hooked up with Johan Oudhuis. They recorded a demo in early 1993 which caught the attention of Black Mark Productions, who signed the band soon after. Their debut, Greater Art, was released in 1994, followed quickly by Headstones the next year. The band began to tour through Europe, losing guitarist Eriksson in the summer of 1996. They recorded a third...
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The Neonai, Lake of Tears
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